Family Course: No Bones About It!

A mother and daughter look at slides

Family Course, October 2009. Photograph by Paula Santos

Actually, lots of bones! This Thursday marked the third week of our after-school family course, where kids and parents are getting a behind-the-scenes intensive look at Georgia O'Keeffe and her work. Artist educator Barbara Ellmann leads the parent and child duos in gallery exploration, sketching, and long term projects; so far, there's been a lot of wonderful work with watercolors and paints.

This week, course participants took a close look at some actual bones and shells from Maxilla and Mandible for an abstract drawing exercise. Using slide mounts as viewfinders, kids and parents focused on elements of the various skulls, bones, and vertebrae to create their own abstract drawings and paintings.

You can try the same thing at home, whether or not you can find a bone! Choose an object that interests you and look for a part that you find particularly interesting. Draw the shapes, lines, and colors that you see in that small area, and voila! you've experimented with abstraction!

By Stina Puotinen

Animal skull and Georgia O'Keefe book

Family Course, October 2009. Photograph by Stina Puotinen